Appeals Court Vacates Ezekiel Elliott's Injunction, Clears Path To Suspension

Beth Cruz
October 14, 2017

As for the Dallas Cowboys themselves, the team has been prepared to lose Ezekiel Elliott at any moment.

As things stand, Ezekiel Elliott will not be starting at running back for the Cowboys when the team returns to the field October 22 against the 49ers.

The NFL had initially moved to suspend Zeke after a private investigation found he physically abused his girlfriend on multiple occasions. "That (irreparable harm) argument becomes even stronger".

On Thursday, the panel ruled 2-1 in the NFL's favor, granting the league's emergency request to set aside an injunction and ordered a district court in Texas to dismiss Elliott's case. The latest round was won by the National Football League, as the 5th Circuit Court sided with the National Football League, vacating Elliott's injunction and reinstating Elliott's suspension. But the 5th Circuit could deny the rehearing within weeks and few are granted.

"The NFLPA's lawsuit on Elliott's behalf was premature". The NFL Players Association wrote that "the failures of due process by the NFL articulated in the district court's decision were not addressed". No decision was made, but both sides had agreed to an expedited decision. That decision had not yet been issued.

Elliott filed an appeal of the suspension, but independent arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld the punishment.

He issued no further comment on the ruling. "As there was no final decision, Elliott had not yet exhausted the contracted-for remedies".

But that doesn't mean Elliott will serve the suspension that quickly, if at all.

The dissenting opinion came from Judge James Graves: "I conclude that the district court properly exercised subject matter jurisdiction".

Elliott's camp, however, is likely to file another temporary restraining order in a NY court to once again fight the six-game span that stems from domestic violence allegations made against him in OH a year ago. "The "fundamental fairness' issue and the irreparable haven't diminished with time".

The most likely next step for Elliott could be to pursue the case in NY, where the National Football League has already filed a case on the matter. In the most prominent, the Tom Brady "Deflategate" case, Brady secured an injunction, allowing him to play the entire 2015 season.

The Cowboys are on a bye week.

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